You can grab $3,500 for doing absolutely nothing because businesses want Australians off JobSeeker

How you can grab $3,500 for doing absolutely nothing – as desperate businesses are forced to splash out to get Australians off the dole

  • Restaurants are offering Australian workers huge cash sign-on bonuses
  • With no working holiday visa holders venues are desperate to attract staff
  • Expert said $750 welfare payments left people not needing to rush back to work

Desperate hospitality venues are offering Australians bonuses to ditch Covid disaster payments or JobSeeker as they emerge from lockdown, with borders opening creating a surge of customers. 

Chefs, waiters, bar staff and even dishwashers are being offered one-off cash payments of thousands of dollars in addition to regular paychecks in a bid to attract workers. 

George Pompei from Pompei pizza and pasta restaurant in Bondi is offering a $2,000 sign-on bonus after struggling to find willing staff, with applicants preferring to stay on JobSeeker payments. 

Pompei at Bondi (pictured) is offering a $2,000 bonus to new staff as the pizza restaurant heads into the busy summer period 

‘Out of three applicants who we actually spoke to over the phone, nobody has turned up for an interview,’ he told The Daily Telegraph. 

Mr Pompei explained he relies on working-holiday visa holders to backup his permanent staff and fill his roster. 

But because of border closures he is so short of staff he’s had to close on Mondays and stop lunch service on Tuesdays to Thursdays. 

‘We’re heading to our really busy period in summer… this is really impacting our ability to function,’ he added. 

He is not alone – with other Sydney venues offering similar incentives. 

The Apollo in Potts Point is seeking a floor manager and offering a cash bonus to the successful applicant. 

While hospitality companies The Dog’s Group and Australian Venue Co. are offering up to $3,500 as sign-on bonuses.

The Apollo (pictured) in Potts Point is offering a similar incentive as customers once again can dine-in

The Apollo (pictured) in Potts Point is offering a similar incentive as customers once again can dine-in

Dianne Dayhew from National Apprentice Employment Network said the $750-a-week Covid disaster payments may have left many hospitality workers not needing to immediately return to work. 

She added that the hospitality industry needed to promote the career paths available from entry level positions as another way to attract staff. 

‘We really do need to build up the capability of our own workforce rather than relying on skilled migration to fill those gaps,’ she said.

The desperate businesses may soon be in luck when more than a million NSW residents have the Covid-19 disaster payments scrapped in less than two weeks, with the state no longer declared a ‘hotspot’. 

With 80 per cent of the population now fully vaccinated, Australian Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly confirmed NSW’s hotspot title will no longer apply, which means the related Covid support payments will end two weeks later. 

The industry relies on working holiday visa holders but with the borders shut there is a shortfall of workers

The industry relies on working holiday visa holders but with the borders shut there is a shortfall of workers 

Emergency Management Minister Bridget McKenzie said the temporary disaster payment which offered a maximum of $750 per week would wind down in NSW over the next fortnight, with people needing to apply each week to remain eligible. 

In the first week after the 80 per cent milestone people can apply for $450 if they have lost 8 hours or a full day’s work or more, while in the second week the rate decreases to $320 before ceasing altogether. 

The same payments will also be scrapped in other states once the 80 per cent milestone is hit. 

Under the national plan agreed by all premiers and chief ministers, the hotspot declaration automatically ends within a particular state or territory once the 80 per cent target has been reached.

The cost of the payments is more than $1billion each week with Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg earlier saying the economy ‘is well positioned to bounce back’.